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Cannibalism case jury may have to come from another county

The jury that will hear the murder trial of a southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body may have to come from another county to avoid depleting the jury pool during another high-profile trial.

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 8:08 AM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — The jury that will hear the murder trial of a southern Indiana man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and eating parts of her body may have to come from another county to avoid depleting the jury pool during another high-profile trial.

Attorneys for Joseph Oberhansley, 39, and prosecutors are expected to report back to a Clark County judge within days on whether the jurors should come from a different county, or if his trial set to start Sept. 8 should be postponed, the News and Tribune reported.

Oberhansley is accused of killing and mutilating his ex-girlfriend, 46-year-old Tammy Jo Blanton, in Jeffersonville in 2014.

He was set to go stand trial last August with a jury drawn from central Indiana’s Hamilton County, but a mistrial was declared during the first day of testimony after a state’s witness spoke of things that attorneys had previously agreed would not be mentioned to the jury.

Attorneys tried to select a new jury drawn from Hamilton County, but they found that due to media coverage of the crime's gruesome nature many of those potential jurors already knew details of the case.

Clark County Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael later agreed that the jurors would be selected from St. Joseph County, in northern Indiana, due in part to its distance from the media markets of southern Indiana, Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

But Carmichael said during a Thursday attorneys meeting held via Zoom that St. Joseph County has another high-profile case of its own there within a week of Oberhansley’s scheduled trial and the court doesn’t want to deplete that county's jury pool.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 708067

Reported Deaths: 13224
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion964881721
Lake51704945
Allen39185672
Hamilton34497405
St. Joseph34075540
Elkhart27306432
Vanderburgh22077394
Tippecanoe21818212
Porter17940299
Johnson17526374
Hendricks16803310
Clark12688190
Madison12350337
Vigo12211244
Monroe11462166
LaPorte11140204
Delaware10356184
Howard9662211
Kosciusko9127114
Hancock7979139
Bartholomew7888155
Warrick7684155
Floyd7560176
Wayne6899198
Grant6842171
Boone6552100
Morgan6395138
Dubois6084117
Marshall5783108
Dearborn570076
Cass5684102
Henry5577100
Noble542483
Jackson493269
Shelby479095
Lawrence4342118
Gibson428789
Harrison428170
Clinton419053
Montgomery417986
DeKalb410984
Whitley379639
Huntington379480
Miami372565
Knox366389
Steuben365257
Putnam352660
Jasper350546
Wabash347778
Adams337952
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308354
Daviess289299
Wells286381
Decatur278992
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268833
Scott261153
Clay253444
LaGrange253070
Randolph235680
Washington230931
Spencer227931
Jennings224747
Fountain208745
Sullivan207842
Starke204352
Owen192256
Fulton191739
Jay186129
Carroll185820
Perry180336
Orange177853
Rush170724
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Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113645
Newton103934
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Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82815
Warren79615
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